The right high heel can put a pep in your step and lend you a boost of inner-confidence that can’t be beat. But these days, a woman has more height options than a towering stiletto. Every season, a new heel type takes over and wedges (get it?) its way into our hearts and pockets. For a little refresher and style guide to all the classic heel types to know, keep scrolling.
1. The Stiletto
The stiletto heel, one of the most classic and popular heel styles, is named after the stiletto dagger, dating back to the 1930s. It’s described by a long, thin heel—often found on boots, pumps, and strappy sandals alike.
2. The Kitten Heel
Once seen as a “grandma shoe,” the kitten heel resurgence came about thanks to women demanding comfort over height. This heel height is no longer frumpy, but sexy. It comes in easy boots, naked sandals, and even flip flops.
3. The Wedge
Wedges are a summer staple because they’re usually done in espadrille or canvas. Originally created as an orthopedic shoe option in 1935, the wedge has since become a timeless wardrobe essential.
4. The Block Heel
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The block heel has risen in fame because of its walkability and versatility. Wear them to work, for happy hour, or a night out for the ultimate city stomping shoe. They’re defined by the chunky, square shaped heel that can come in high and mid-height options.
5. The Slingback
The beginnings of this classic shoe can be traced back to the first appearance of the iconic Chanel option. A slingback is defined by a strap that crosses behind the ankle or heel.
6. The Mule
A mule speaks for itself; it simply has no back strap or support. They take practice to comfortably (and easily) walk in, but once you learn, you won’t be able to stop wearing this endless trend.
7. The Ankle Strap
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In the ’50s, ankle straps were a way for women to show off their romantic, feminine sides without being disrespectful. They hold the foot in easily while elongating the legs.
8. The Flatform
Salvatore Ferragamo originally invented the flatform/platform sandal. Now, they come in chunky options and subtle versions that go with everyday aesthetics.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.